A developer is a computer scientist who can make computer software and applications. Developers have a very good understanding of computer programming languages and use codes to make the applications and software work.
A developer can also be called a software developer, computer programmer, or software engineer. A developer’s main job is to write codes. For one to become a developer, one should study computer science and specialize in software development. A web developer in the UK earns up to 35184 Euros per year.
Are you a developer and employed? Would you like to start your freelancing developer job? This article will help you to see the pros and cons of making the switch. It will also help you with the guide on how to start a freelancing developer job.
A freelance developer is not employed fully by an employer rather he or she has contracts with the clients he or she works for. A freelance developer has the option to choose which projects they will work on.
Advantages of becoming a freelancer developer
- Flexibility: being a freelance developer means that you have the option to be flexible. Flexibility means that you will be able to work on specific tasks when you want to. Being a freelance developer, you can decide on which projects you will be working on and the rates you are going to charge your clients. You also have the opportunity to work from anywhere so long as you have a good internet connection and a personal computer.
- Work-life balance: freelancing enables one to have a good work-life balance. As a freelancer, you will decide on the duration you will be working. You will also decide when you will spend time with your family and friends. By being a freelance developer, you will have more time if you plan your schedule well.
- Might earn more: a developer who is employed by a company will get a fixed income at the end of the month. Being a freelance developer, you will decide on the rates you want to charge people. You can decide to charge an hourly rate depending on your preference. You can look for a client and make an agreement on the monthly rates you will be charging him or her.
- Freedom: as a freelance developer, you have the freedom to decide which work you will work on and which one you will not. When you are an employed developer, you do not have the right to choose as you are being governed by a contract. You will do the work your employer tells you to do. Being a freelance developer, you can choose to work with a specific client or not.
- No supervision is needed: when you are a freelance developer, you will not need any supervision. You will need the right tools since you do not have any supervision. Being a freelance developer will mean that you will be the one communicating to your clients and you will have to settle any misunderstandings that you might have.
- Enjoy profits: when you are an employed developer, all the monies you make goes to the company then you are given your share. Being a freelance developer will mean that any money you make will be channeled to you. You do not share your profits with anyone and you get to use and enjoy all the money you make.
Disadvantages of becoming a freelance developer
Becoming a freelance developer also has its disadvantages. Below are a few of the disadvantages
- Irregular income: Once you decide to be a freelance developer, you might not get the clients immediately. This will mean that there will be some time when you will go without income as you look for clients. This is one of the downsides of becoming a freelance developer. During some periods, the developer markets are usually low and this affects freelancers greatly.
- No benefits: employed developers get many benefits. An employed developer will get annual leave, retirement benefits, lunch at work, housing allowance, health insurance, and sick days off. Some companies issue their employees with company cars and might get bonuses at the end of the year. Being a freelance developer, you will not get these benefits. You might go for vacations or take some sick time off but these are not paid for. For a freelance developer, you have to pay for all the benefits you want to have. You need to pay for your health insurance, for your car, for your own house, and all other benefits you need.
- Bad clients: when employed, you sometimes do not interact with your client directly. The company is responsible for most of the clients’ communication. When you are a freelance developer, you interact with the client by yourself. If you get a stubborn client, then you will have a hard time dealing with him or her. This is one of the disadvantages of becoming a freelance developer. A freelance developer also sometimes experiences late payments from the client.
- Isolation: When you work in a company as a freelancer, you get to interact with other developers you might have in the office. This helps you to brainstorm ideas and challenges you might face during your work time.
Being a freelance will mean that you have no one to talk to in case of any challenges you face. You also will have to work on the projects alone without any support from others unless you have someone else to help you.
- Pieces of training: when employed by a company, training is done regularly. This means that the company is in charge of the costs that come with any training that will happen. Being a freelance developer, you will have to take care of the training costs if you need to undergo training.
Where can you get freelancer jobs?
Once you decide to become a freelance developer, you need to also know where you will get your freelance jobs. You can ask someone who has already started freelancing to connect you with some clients. You can also have a look at the following sites:
- Upwork: for Upwork, you have projects available. You have to bid on the project you want to work on. When the client posts tasks, you and other freelancers bit, and the best bidder wins. You as the freelancer should also on your profile explain what you do, the skills you have, and the experience you have. The client will then pick the person he or she feels is best suited for the job or task.
- Codementor: this app helps freelance developers to get gigs. In Codementor, as a freelance developer, you will help someone to program and develop. Coders and developers from all over the world go to Codementor to get help. If you have expertise in developing, then you will earn quite a good amount of money from this application.
- Fiverr: for Fiverr, you create an account first. You then describe the services and expertise you have. You can go ahead and create gigs. Gigs inform people of the services you offer and how many days you will take to deliver an order. If a client is impressed with your description of work, he or she will place an order.
- Arc: This firm hires the best developers. You first have to create a developer account. Arc will then reach out to you and conduct a sort of interview to see if you are good enough in your developing skills. If successful, you can apply for jobs from the app and get a good source of income.
- DesignCrowd: for DesignCrowd, the client gives the requirements for a job. As a freelance developer, if you feel you qualify for the job posted, you can apply for it.
How can you become a freelance website developer?
A website developer is a computer programmer who specializes in the development of World Wide Web applications using a client’s server model. You can become a freelance website developer by:
- Deciding on web development: there are many web development you can choose from. Decide on one that you are more experienced in and offer services. You can choose
- Back-End Development: as a back-end developer, you will create the website’s databases and other activities. You will need to know Python and PHP. As a back-end developer, you need to work with your team and communicate effectively.
- Full-stack Development: being a full-stack developer means that you should have both front-end development and back-end development knowledge.
- Have skills that will help you be a good freelance developer. The skills you should have can include
- Technical skills: These skills will make you versatile. The skills can include search engine optimization, debugging skills, testing skills, back-end knowledge, micro copywriting, and many others.
- Soft skills: these skills will help you to collaborate with others. Soft skills are very important in a freelance developer’s life. Some soft skills that you should have can include analytical skills, good and effective communication, decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, time management, good work ethics, and many more. Strive to have these skills as you carry out your freelance business.
- Business skills: these skills will help you manage and run your business well. Examples of business skills include marketing and sales, problem-solving skills, financial management skills, communication and negotiation skills, time management skills, and project management and planning skills. These skills are important.
- Brand your freelance business: Branding your business will help others to know about your business. You can brand your business by
- Create a company: having a company for your freelance business will help you advertise more. People will be more drawn to reach out to a freelance developer with a company than to one without one. According to your area’s laws get registered and pay the taxes and licenses you need to to start your company
- Have a website. Being a developer, it will be much easier for you to create a website for your business since that is what you normally do. Your website should have the services you offer and the rates you charge for your services. Your website should have your work contacts. Your phone number and email address should be on the website for potential customers to be able to reach out to you easily.
- You can also have a name for your freelance business. This will make it easier for people to differentiate you and other freelance developers.
- Advertise and market your business: this is the only way people will know about your business. Here are some ways you can market and advertise your business
- Social media: take advantage of the available social media platforms to advertise your business
- Family and friends: talk to your family and friends and tell them about your business. They will refer you to others and you will get business.
- You can advertise in newspapers and radio stations. You can also create brochures and business cards. Share them widely for your business to be known by many.
- Networking at events: if you hear of events, go and market your business. Talk to as many people at the event as possible telling them what services you offer.
Deciding on switching from being an employed developer to a freelance developer can be a tough decision. If well done, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. As a freelance developer, you need to make extra effort to market your business and to make your business grow. Advertise as much as you can and you will see your business grow within no time.